Detroit Lions Win Total Prediction
The Detroit Lions have lost one of their all-time great players coming into 2016. Can they still be a team to contend for a playoff spot this season?
Despite the loss of Calvin Johnson, the Lions are being viewed as a potential winning team for 2016, as oddsmakers at BetDSI have listed them with an over/under of 7 wins for the regular season. The over is listed at -105 to win, while the under is at -125. The Lions odds to win the Super Bowl this season is set at 75/1.
The Lions went 7-9 in 2015 under second-year coach Jim Caldwell, winning six of their last eight to get to that point. In the offseason, Detroit cleaned house with the upper management. Bob Quinn was named the new GM, as he came from the Patriots organization. Still, Caldwell remains the head coach. After the regime change, Johnson announced his retirement due to nagging injuries. He finished his nine-year career with 731 catches for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns. He had 1,214 yards and nine scores in 2015.
The big question for the Lions is how their offense will look without Johnson. QB Matthew Stafford made the argument that they could be more difficult to defend without him, but few see his side. Detroit signed Marvin Jones to absorb some of the blow from losing Johnson, but Detroit needs to improve its run game to really help the offense. The Lions had just 1,335 rushing yards in 2015 with Ameer Abdullah the leading rusher at 597 yards. Detroit addressed the O-line in the Draft, taking Ohio State tackle Taylor Decker 16th overall while adding center Graham Glasgow in the third round and Washington State guard Joe Dahl in the fifth. The Lions have a young line with potential, but can they provide running lanes and protection? Abdullah will be the feature back, but has had fumbling issues. The Lions also added Stevan Ridley in the offseason to be a second option in the backfield.
The Lions were a mixed bag defensively, showing some positive signs throughout the season despite losing Ndamukong Suh the year prior. They found another stud pass rusher in Ezekiel Ansah, who had 14.5 sacks in his third year with the team. Another third-year player, Devin Taylor, added seven sacks. They join Haloti Ngata and second-round pick A’Shawn Robinson as a formidable defensive line. DeAndre Levy missed all of 2015 with injuries, but the Lions are hoping he can be back to his 2014 form, where he had 117 tackles. In the secondary, Detroit has Glover Quin at safety and Darius Slay at corner. Both have proven to be solid players. The question is can a slew of young draft picks over the years finally pan out and contribute in big games?
The Lions started 0-5 last year after facing a very difficult open. This season they have three of their first four on the road, but not nearly as competitive in regards to opponents. If the Lions can steal a few wins early, they can certainly contend for a .500 or better season. There is a lot of fear over whether the Lions have much talent, but Detroit has had a lot of high-end offensive talent over the years and won little to nothing with it. Maybe the Lions need to build more with fewer big names. It has worked well for the Patriots. Still, this year could be a learning curve for the new GM, as he may be looking for a reason to fire Caldwell and bring in his own coach. The Lions aren’t a franchise that know how to grind out wins. So, while they could make positive steps this season as an organization, it could still not be reflected in the record.
2016 NFL WIN TOTAL PICK: DETROIT LIONS UNDER 7 (-125)